"But I just thought you'd be — " John waved his hand in the air — "funny. Funnier," he corrected quickly, trying not to upset his blind date.
"Oh, right, like you have any idea about all the work that goes into funny." Rodney scowled. "You think I just roll out of bed, put on some makeup, and the crowds go wild? Wrong, wrong, wrong." He held up one finger as he took a sip from his wine, forbidding John to open his mouth. "Years of study. I was originally going to be a ballet dancer, but I was told I lacked depth, passion, all that crap. So I did acrobatics until I had enough saved to go to France. Studied with Naoki Iimuro under Marcel Marceau. Added panto to the reportoire, then balloon animals." He glared at John, his mouth in an unhappy twist. John raised his hands: I come in peace.
"I've actually never met anyone who works at a circus," John said apologetically. "Much less a — "
"Clown?" Rodney said acidly, when John stumbled over the word. "Let me guess, childhood trauma?"
"Nightmares for years," John agreed.
"Come see me perform," Rodney said, digging in his backpack for a moment. He pulled out a ticket and handed it over. "Crap seat, but you'll be able to see me well enough. Think of it as behaviour modification."
"Thank you," John said, giving Rodney the full wattage of his smile as he put the ticket into his wallet. "That's very generous."
"Ha," Rodney said. "So. You. Laura neglected to tell me what you do."
John adjusted his glasses. "I'm a nursery school teacher."
Rodney stared, and then his face was split by a wide grin. "There," he said, snapping his fingers and pointing gleefully, "now that's funny."